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Kyle & Mike's IL Bowhunt Part 2
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Contributors to this thread:
Mike in CT 30-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 30-Oct-17
Fulldraw1972 30-Oct-17
Bowbender 30-Oct-17
WV Mountaineer 30-Oct-17
orionsbrother 30-Oct-17
HA/KS 30-Oct-17
elkmtngear 30-Oct-17
Grey Ghost 30-Oct-17
K Cummings 31-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 31-Oct-17
wooddamon1 31-Oct-17
sureshot 31-Oct-17
Scar Finga 31-Oct-17
bigeasygator 31-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 31-Oct-17
Gray Ghost 31-Oct-17
Brotsky 31-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 31-Oct-17
Gray Ghost 31-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 31-Oct-17
Gray Ghost 31-Oct-17
Mike in CT 31-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 31-Oct-17
Scrappy 31-Oct-17
Gray Ghost 31-Oct-17
orionsbrother 31-Oct-17
Franzen 31-Oct-17
NvaGvUp 31-Oct-17
Fulldraw1972 31-Oct-17
WV Mountaineer 31-Oct-17
Gray Ghost 31-Oct-17
Whitey 31-Oct-17
Spike Bull 01-Nov-17
longbeard 01-Nov-17
NvaGvUp 01-Nov-17
NvaGvUp 01-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 01-Nov-17
NvaGvUp 01-Nov-17
Fulldraw1972 01-Nov-17
NvaGvUp 01-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 01-Nov-17
Shuteye 01-Nov-17
Franzen 01-Nov-17
Mike in CT 01-Nov-17
NvaGvUp 01-Nov-17
gadan 01-Nov-17
Fulldraw1972 01-Nov-17
bigeasygator 01-Nov-17
Hunting5555 01-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 01-Nov-17
Shuteye 01-Nov-17
Mike in CT 01-Nov-17
itshot 01-Nov-17
NvaGvUp 01-Nov-17
Ace 01-Nov-17
Rocky 01-Nov-17
orionsbrother 01-Nov-17
Fulldraw1972 01-Nov-17
sureshot 02-Nov-17
Mike in CT 02-Nov-17
NvaGvUp 02-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 02-Nov-17
Mike in CT 02-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 02-Nov-17
Mike in CT 02-Nov-17
Mike in CT 02-Nov-17
orionsbrother 02-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 02-Nov-17
Mike in CT 02-Nov-17
NvaGvUp 02-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 02-Nov-17
Shuteye 02-Nov-17
NvaGvUp 02-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 02-Nov-17
Fulldraw1972 02-Nov-17
Shuteye 02-Nov-17
JTV 02-Nov-17
Fulldraw1972 02-Nov-17
Shuteye 02-Nov-17
sureshot 03-Nov-17
orionsbrother 03-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 03-Nov-17
wooddamon1 03-Nov-17
Shuteye 03-Nov-17
NvaGvUp 03-Nov-17
Jim Moore 03-Nov-17
Mike in CT 04-Nov-17
orionsbrother 04-Nov-17
Shuteye 04-Nov-17
Spike Bull 04-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 04-Nov-17
orionsbrother 04-Nov-17
Mike in CT 04-Nov-17
orionsbrother 04-Nov-17
Fulldraw1972 04-Nov-17
JTV 04-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 04-Nov-17
Whitey 04-Nov-17
Shuteye 04-Nov-17
orionsbrother 04-Nov-17
JTV 04-Nov-17
Shuteye 04-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 04-Nov-17
JTV 04-Nov-17
Whitey 04-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 04-Nov-17
Whitey 04-Nov-17
Shuteye 04-Nov-17
NvaGvUp 04-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 05-Nov-17
Mike in CT 05-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 05-Nov-17
Mint 06-Nov-17
Scar Finga 06-Nov-17
NvaGvUp 06-Nov-17
Gray Ghost 06-Nov-17
NvaGvUp 06-Nov-17
From: Mike in CT
30-Oct-17
Well, after last year's adventure Kyle (NvaGvUp) and Mike (Mike in CT) decided to roll the dice and head out to IL again.

So far there's been some good action but after the first day-and-a-half the biggest buck was a low 130's that sauntered by Kyle today. Yesterday I had 6 does and 2 bucks (best was a 2 1/2 year old 8pt that maybe just scraped over 100" of antler) and today was a repeat with 9 does and 1 younger 8pt.

Tomorrow and Wednesday look to be ideal; lows around 30 and highs only in the mid-40's. I plan on being on stand all day both days, not sure on Kyle's plans at the moment.

We'll do our best to come through for the CF crew (though Kyle did tag a high 150's buck last year so the bar is higher for him). Updates to follow and all encouraging words, advice are welcome!

Play nice in the CF sandbox in the interim........

From: NvaGvUp
30-Oct-17
Mike's got talents he never told me about.

For starters, he plays one heck of a guitar and has a nice voice as well.

Lucky for us, he brought his gee-tar with him and has been providing background music for us during the cocktail hour.

From: Fulldraw1972
30-Oct-17
Good luck guys. I am pulling for you two.

With all the does around it has to get a bucks attention soon.

From: Bowbender
30-Oct-17
"...and has been providing background music for us during the cocktail hour."

Why does that statement bring to mind a couple of lounge lizards in leisure suits. ;)

All kidding aside, I would love to share a whitetail camp with Kyle and Mike.

30-Oct-17
Good luck guys

30-Oct-17
Best wishes. Hope you kill a dandy!

From: HA/KS
30-Oct-17
Have fun!

From: elkmtngear
30-Oct-17
Good luck, Gentlemen. Hope the action seriously heats up.

Best of Luck, Jeff

From: Grey Ghost
30-Oct-17
Whack and stack fellas!!

Save me some backstrap.

Matt.

From: K Cummings
31-Oct-17
Good luck guys. Above all have fun and be safe.

KPC

From: NvaGvUp
31-Oct-17
We started Sunday afternoon and it's been very slow so far. Not much moving.......yet.

But they should start soon. Last year I tagged a 165" buck less than :30 into the hunt.

From: wooddamon1
31-Oct-17
Good luck gentlemen! I'm hoping to get out this afternoon here in MI. Usually have some decent action around this time every year when I manage to pick the right area. Should be great down there for you guys, shoot straight.

From: sureshot
31-Oct-17
Good luck to you guys. Where are you hunting in Illinois?

From: Scar Finga
31-Oct-17
Knock em down and drag em out gents... Good Luck, and Have Fun! No slow dancing in deer camp, no matter how good the music is!! :/

From: bigeasygator
31-Oct-17
Good luck guys!

From: NvaGvUp
31-Oct-17
Sureshot,

We're in Cole County which is east-central IL

From: Gray Ghost
31-Oct-17
MIke and Kyle,

Curious why you chose this week, instead of closer to the rut? Scheduling thing, or.....?

Matt

From: Brotsky
31-Oct-17
Good luck gentlemen! Bring home the backstraps!

From: NvaGvUp
31-Oct-17
Matt,

When we were here last year, we had the second week of Nov. While we were here, we asked about booking for next week but it was already booked, so we came a week earlier this year.

There were three guys here the week before we were here last week and two of them tagged out on terrific bucks on the first day of their hunt. I took mine on Nov. 5

From: Gray Ghost
31-Oct-17
Kyle,

I gotya....outfitter schedules are what they are.

If I had to pick just one week for whitetails in the midwest it would Nov 8-15. Around Thanksgiving for mulies. But, as we both know, it's all good.

Any action this morning? My cousin in Kansas says he's seeing a few decent bucks on their feet during daylight, but the big boys are still nocturnal.

Matt

From: NvaGvUp
31-Oct-17
I've been out four times so far. I've seen three little guys and one 130" buck, but that's it. No does at all.

Matt's seen more deer than I have and several does but no bucks over 130." The theory is that the big bucks have locked down mature does and aren't moving yet.

From: Gray Ghost
31-Oct-17
Yeah, as an outfitter, I used to give that same excuse when my clients weren't seeing anything. ;-) In reality, I think the whole "lock down phase" is a myth.

Good luck, brother. If the big boys are with girls now, they'll be looking for a new girl in a day to two.

Matt

From: Mike in CT
31-Oct-17
Matt,

Heating up today; had a low 130,a 9pt behind me at 9:15 and had a good 8pt. chase a doe out in front of me. Holding out for 150 or better; no complaints about the action! Sitting all day so I'll check back in around 7:30 or so.

Thanks to all for the encouragement!!

From: NvaGvUp
31-Oct-17
That's what we're thinking as well.

Those two big bucks that were taken last year before we got here were taken on Oct. 31.

Today is Oct. 31 and we're thinking, "Show Time!"

From: Scrappy
31-Oct-17
Good luck guys, bang those rattling antlers together and watch them come a running. This is my favorite time of the year to rattle.

From: Gray Ghost
31-Oct-17
Kyle,

It's just a matter of time. Numerous studies, and my own observations, show that a hot doe stays in estrus for 24-48 hours. That's about the maximum time a buck will ever spend with one doe before moving on to the next.

The "lull" that guys experience is when multiple does in a buck's range go into estrus all at once, so he doesn't have to look far for the next hot doe. That's why I like the beginning and latter parts of the peak rut. The bucks have to spend more time looking than breeding.

Keep us posted,

Matt

31-Oct-17
From my experience in Southern IL, the first week of November is my target time.

I got down to Pike County, but it was early and weather didn't cooperate. No complaint. Beggars can't be choosers. Unfortunately, four dead bucks were found around the ponds. Two eights, a ten and an eleven.

I think Mike and Kyle are going to be coming into some pretty good deer movement and will have potential opportunity at a few sizable deer.

That, and a cup of coffee'll buy you a good deer story... at least, that's what I'm hoping.

From: Franzen
31-Oct-17
I would disagree with the "myth" of lockdown phase. The whole idea is that a majority of the does would go into estrus in a fairly short time frame. For sake of discussion, let's just say it's a week. During that time period most of the "breeder" bucks would be "locked down" with 1-4 (again just throwing a number out for discussion sake) does, depending on how long each encounter lasts. This would limit actual buck movement versus the time period where they are mostly cruising looking for the small number of does that go into estrous outside of that time frame. Lots of variables to consider of course, but add in that during "lockdown" a lot of times the buck and doe will go off into places that may not be hunted.

I live about an hour from where you are hunting. Bucks are cruising, but I haven't seen a big one yet. That is based on limited time afield though.

From: NvaGvUp
31-Oct-17
It's really slow.

Mike sat all day and didn't see a deer after 2:00.

I went back out a bit after 2:00 and didn't see anything other than some squirrels and a flock of ducks.

From: Fulldraw1972
31-Oct-17
Tomorrow is sweet November. If cooler temps hold out for you guys I think you two should have action.

Me personally I don’t think many does are in heat right now. It’s too early. A lack of big buck sightings right now is due to them knowing it’s not time yet.

My all time best day has been Nov 7th. It sounds like you guys will be done with your hunt by then.

Full moon is the 4th I think bucks move better on the back side of the full moon. Once again it sounds like you guys will be leaving if you only have a week.

Good luck!

31-Oct-17
Every one is getting excited because some big ones are hitting the dirt. But, my personal experience, which is limited to eastern states, is the best time to kill the bigger deer is at the backside of the rut. When most are breed or through cycle and, the big deer are on their feet, covering lots of ground looking for the remaining does in heat.

People kill them on the front side but, you can bet your last dollar they are going to be around the does on the front side and, during the heart of the actual breeding. So, unless you are around one of those hot does, it can get lonely. But, when they are cleaning up the few remaining, they are very vulnerable due to the distance they cover and their willingness to do it during daylight. God Bless

From: Gray Ghost
31-Oct-17
Tomorrow is a different day, gents.

If it's any consolation, I saw minimal action tonight, as did my Cuz in Kansas. 3 days ago there were deer everywhere.

That's why I love this sh*t. Just when you think you have mother nature figured out, she reminds you of how little you actually know.

Matt

From: Whitey
31-Oct-17
Full blown rut last year Oct 29 . No activity this year, does everywhere too but not even a spike showing.

01-Nov-17
Good luck, gents!

Hoping you both break the level Nva set last year!!

From: longbeard
01-Nov-17
Just out of curiosity which outfitter are you using and what part of the state are you in??

From: NvaGvUp
01-Nov-17

NvaGvUp's Link
We're in Cole County in east-central IL, hunting with River Bottom Bucks.

http://riverbottombucks.com/

From: NvaGvUp
01-Nov-17
I got into my stand a little after 6:30 this morning, long before first light.

~ 7:00, I heard bucks fighting very close by.

VERY close by.

It was too dark to see them, esp. given most of the leaves are still on the trees, which would have blocked my view even if it had been light enough.

But that was it. I never saw a deer.

Mike texted me he saw two shooters right off the bat, but that's all I know. He'll be back at the house here in :30 or so and I'll let him tell the story on that.

From: Gray Ghost
01-Nov-17
Sounds like rattling may be worth trying.

When's your last day, Kyle?

Matt

From: NvaGvUp
01-Nov-17
Matt,

We can hunt through Friday evening.

I've been doing some rattling, but it's not paid off.........yet.

From: Fulldraw1972
01-Nov-17
Kyle have you been blind rattling?

I have had ok luck with that. It has to be really sparingly though. It’s seems like the more I rattle from the same stand the less I see. It might even be spread out over a week as well. Here lately I have only blind rattled on cold, high pressure mornings. Seems like better results then.

I do like calling to bucks once I see them. I prefer a grunt but sometimes there too far or too windy and I will switch to rattling.

From: NvaGvUp
01-Nov-17
I have been blind rattling, but less than once per hour, I would guess.

From: Gray Ghost
01-Nov-17
I've never had good success rattling from a tree stand. I think deer can distinguish between a real battle on the ground, and a hunter clanking horns together in a tree. When I rattle, it's always from the ground, where I can rustle my feet and rattle at the same time. Often times, I'll crawl back into a tree, immediately afterwards.

I guess we all have our techniques, and there's no right or wrong way. It's all about being in the right place at the right time, with the right animal.

Matt

From: Shuteye
01-Nov-17
Rattling has never been great for me but grunt calling has been great, at times. Several time I have grunted in two bucks at a time. I had a grunt call that Roger Yenn gave me and I could call in does with it. You could make it sound like a fawn bleating.

From: Franzen
01-Nov-17
I've never really thought of this before because I don't do guided hunts, but what do the outfitters/guides think of rattling? You have to be real cautious that your set is concealed from view if you don't want to take any chances of being busted. I don't rattle much here because I haven't had much luck doing so, and carrying the horns without achieving results gets old. Right now it may not be as bad, since the leaves are mostly on still, like Kyle said.... but you have to be careful. The other option is to do the puppet-style rattling.

From: Mike in CT
01-Nov-17
Michael,

I tried blind rattling once but kept hitting myself in the face.......ok, bad one.....

Had an absolute hog go right under me about 30 minutes before sunrise; picture a chest freezer with legs; too dark to shoot so I just bit my lip until the blood started flowing (that's my excuse for the tears that started flowing).

About 7:35 I had a 145-150" 10pt with some nice little stickers and a split brow tine. I got to full draw but he managed to keep just enough brush/branches in the way. At 26 yards I had a "thread the needle" opening but the wind was moving the branches around up and down so I wasn't comfortable and let down.

Back out in about an hour and we'll do our best. Thanks for all the support; wish to God I could spend a hunt with every one of you; in all sincerity I truly do. I couldn't ask for a finer group of people to share a hunt with!

From: NvaGvUp
01-Nov-17
"Thanks for all the support; wish to God I could spend a hunt with every one of you; in all sincerity I truly do. I couldn't ask for a finer group of people to share a hunt with!"

Except for Sybil, that is. :^)

From: gadan
01-Nov-17
Good hunting! Keep the updates coming!

From: Fulldraw1972
01-Nov-17
Wow Mike I bet that was a heartbreaker encounter. Oh and you needed a face shield for your blind calling. Haha

Like Matt said we all have our own style of calling. Interesting I have had better luck calling in bucks with a rattle bag. Then you will have guys that swear by real antlers. Just like I have had better luck with less is more when it comes to calling. I always liked a new tree that hadn’t been hunted out of yet with a cold high pressure morning. Seemed like I called more in that way. Even then I would only call once maybe twice the whole day. Grunting on the other hand. I have always liked grunting at a buck once I seen him.

Good luck this afternoon gentlemen!

From: bigeasygator
01-Nov-17
Sounds like y'all are getting closer...keep at it! Good luck!

From: Hunting5555
01-Nov-17
My best rattling story..... Back when I was in high school, dad and I would set together during shotgun season on a rock outcrop in a valley down in Johnson County, IL in the Shawnee. We would sit together because every year we were able to kill out by noon on Friday.

So it was Friday morning and we hadn't seen a thing all morning. We decided we would try rattling to see if we could shake anything out of the trees. Dad rattles the antlers while I blew the grunt call and stomped on the ground. I kid you not, in a matter of seconds we were surrounded by at LEAST a dozen deer that came RUNNING in. All within 30 yards of us! We were stuck out in the open with our shotguns laying on the ground beside us. They all stared at us for 5-10 seconds then blew out of the valley. We didn't even get off one shot! We just set back shaking our heads and laughing. That is one of the coolest things we've had happen while hunting.

From: Gray Ghost
01-Nov-17
Along the lines of 5555's story, one of the best hunters I've known seemed to kill a big buck every year. Finally, after years of him shooting 3 good bucks to my one, I asked what his secret was. He said, "instead of me telling you, I'll show you, let's hunt together tomorrow." I gladly agreed.

We met early and headed in to the woods. Once we got a few hundred yards into the hardwoods, he pulled out his rattling horns and smashed them together while grunting on his tube. Then he took off on a dead sprint. I thought, WTF, and I chased after him. After about 50 yards, he stopped and repeated the routine.

After the 3rd rattling/grunting/wind sprint, he stopped and starting looking around intently. Damned if 3 bucks didn't come running in all from different directions. One was a shooter, but he never presented a shot. My buddy looked at me, smiled, and said, "lesson over."

Matt

From: Shuteye
01-Nov-17
When I was playing music my banjo player wanted to try rattling. I cut the antlers off an eight point skull I had and gave them to him. He was a boat carpenter and kept those old log canoes in Maryland going. He went to work at about noon he couldn't stand it any longer and left work to go rattling. He went to a small opening in the woods and put together some brush to hide behind. He had read all about how to do it but this was his first try. He rattled, grunted and beat the bushes with the antlers. This was right in the middle of the day. He spied an antler coming around the edge. I think it took a good bit of time before he finally saw an opening and made his shot. Got a double lung pass through and it was a giant buck. After that I tried and tried and never had any results. I don't think it worked for him again either. Haven't seen him in a few years. BTW he was an absolutely excellent shot with his bow and has killed some monsters. He won't shoot another buck unless it beats his last big one, he shoots does for eating.

From: Mike in CT
01-Nov-17
Well, this afternoon's hunt was like something out of "A Christmas Story"......not a creature was stirring.......lol.....

It's going to be warmer tomorrow so I'm thinking of getting up on an oak ridge again as the bucks seem to be running the ridges near or overlooking the fields.

Enjoyed the stories about rattling; I've had some very good results in what I consider an optimal setting; a thicket between me and where I knew the deer would come from. They'd have to circle around the thicket to try and get downwind of me and that worked out very well more than a few times.

We'll split the day so I'll post an update around lunchtime. Keep the positive vibes flowing!!

From: itshot
01-Nov-17
good luck gents!

From: NvaGvUp
01-Nov-17
Like Mike, I, too, saw NOTHING!

That's three trips in a row to the tree stands where I've seen NOTHING!

What's with that?

From: Ace
01-Nov-17
Good luck men, I'm enjoying following along. While it's always nice to tag out early, you're getting the whole experience this week, You guys are in the game, I think a couple a bucks will die before you're done.

From: Rocky
01-Nov-17
Rattling is all about the frame of mind of the ears of the animal it falls upon and the confidence and belief of the hunter rattling. Rattling can be deadly in capable hands but many hunters are not confident enough to rattle under the belief that they are giving up their position and prior failures to produce makes them hesitant. Timing on the calendar, cadence, buck to doe ratio, weather conditions..there are so any variables. Your arrow could accidentally fall off your rest in sections of Texas and you could call in three bucks by the time you set it back. In Pa. you could be watching a actual lock up at daybreak on Nov.5th and they will be the only deer you will see all day. The next day in Pa. your arrow may just fall off its rest and your heart starts beating out your chest..... I have heard rattling on Oct.1st that sounds like a speed freak at a demolition derby at daybreak. That ain't gonna get it. To those who do not believe in rattling....BELIEVE, truly believe, and you may get a BIG surprise. Hey, at the worst if the action is slow make some action. What have you got to lose?

The Rock

01-Nov-17
" Like Mike, I, too, saw NOTHING! That's two trips in a row to the tree stands where I've seen NOTHING!

What's with that? "

Kyle. I'm sorry. There are no more deer in IL. Everybody should give CT a try.

;>)

From: Fulldraw1972
01-Nov-17
That’s a bummer guys. I was hoping for a hero pic tonight.

I didn’t hunt tonight but I did drive around till dark. Seen 2 bucks I would have shot. One was in a picked corn field checking out the does. The other was cruising across an open field.

From: sureshot
02-Nov-17
Kyle, I have not been seeing any deer this week either. I am on the go moving grain from sunrise to sunset in areas that are dense with deer and I have not seen a buck since 10/28......and only a few does. Quite surprising to me, but possibly just not much daytime activity. As Trump would say.....it is the calm before the storm.

From: Mike in CT
02-Nov-17
8 does and a forkie so far.....he asked all 4 does that were in front me at the time and struck out 4 times. Think the lil fella may die from the shame.....

From: NvaGvUp
02-Nov-17
I heard a deer blow from behind me early this morning. When I turned to look I saw a doe and the rear end of a second deer disappear into the timber. That's it so far

From: Gray Ghost
02-Nov-17
Keep the faith, gentlemen. There's still plenty of time.

Man, I'm getting a helluva appetite for backstrap.

Matt

From: Mike in CT
02-Nov-17
Just had 5 does come in and then a good-bodied 7pt; damn buck was broadside at 8 yards for a good minute.... what are the odds a 160 gives me that sweet chip shot?!

Gotta love it!

I'm working on those back straps Matt!!

From: Gray Ghost
02-Nov-17
Mike,

That 7pt would have looked the same in the freezer as a 160. Just sayin'

;-)

Matt

From: Mike in CT
02-Nov-17

From: Mike in CT
02-Nov-17
Sorry for the stutter lol.....

02-Nov-17
Still pullin' for you guys.

From: Gray Ghost
02-Nov-17
Out of curiosity, MIke or Kyle, how many stand sets does your outfitter have and is he giving you the option to sit where you want?

Matt

From: Mike in CT
02-Nov-17
Matt,

He has 36 stands set up and he'll recommend spots but we can opt for our own choice. I pushed for a stand further in the timber today as I felt the does that weren't hitting the fields were in the timber hitting the oaks-turned out to be a good call.

Heading in at noon and I have a spot in mind for this afternoon.

More later....

From: NvaGvUp
02-Nov-17
Matt,

He's got ~30 stands and he does ask us where we'd like to go. I defer to his judgement as he knows it far better than I do.

That said, both of us prefer to sit on the ridges in the hardwoods rather than on the edge of small food plots.

Mike was planning to stay out this morning until 11:00, but he's pushed it back to 12:00, so he must be seeing some movement.

From: Gray Ghost
02-Nov-17
I asked because my Cuz in Kansas has reported seeing a 170" 10pt, we've nicknamed 10-Ring, tending different does in a known CRP bedding area closest to his food plot. He hasn't moved from a 30 yard radius during daylight hours in 4 days, although trail cameras show he is moving at night.

If I had my choice, I'd be sitting as close to a known bedroom as possible before light tomorrow.

Matt

From: Shuteye
02-Nov-17
Here where I am the deer are feeding on acorns that are falling. Our deer prefer acorns to soybeans and corn. When acorns hit the ground the deer will feed right in the middle of the day too.

From: NvaGvUp
02-Nov-17
Yet another shutout for us this Afternoon.

Mike saw a 'likely' buck based on body size and a doe.

I saw two squirrels and a walking stick and that's it!

From: Gray Ghost
02-Nov-17
Ask for a refund from your outfitter. ;-)

Again, this is why I love this sh*t. Money can buy the best opportunities, but Mother Nature decides who cashes in.

My money is on Mother Nature will shine on Mike, tomorrow. She spoiled Kyle last year, so he isn't due. Mike risked the embarrassment of playing his gee-tar and singing this year, so I think he will be rewarded.

I could be wrong, in which case never mind. ;-)

Matt

From: Fulldraw1972
02-Nov-17
Dang it I was really hoping you guys would have had better action today.

What’s the game plan for tomorrow? What’s the forecast like?

From: Shuteye
02-Nov-17
It ain't over till the fat lady sings. Don't give up until the sun goes down tomorrow night. A couple years ago with about five minutes left in the Delaware season I killed a huge buck with a .44 mag handgun. Never give up. However, if you don't get one you still had a great time and nothing is guaranteed when hunting. Besides, you kept us interested for this week, more fun than politics.

From: JTV
02-Nov-17
Forecast for Friday ..... *Ptly Cloudy and clearing in the late PM, at least that is for NW Indiana (we're kinda close to Illinois) ... Winds North then going N/NE for the PM(at least for here), 7-10 mph ... 45 degrees at sunup going to 55.... I will be out all day, took today off from the woods to rest/recoup and because of rain.... Suppose to rain Saturday, Thunderstorms Sunday !!! ..... Ive been in tree's 10-11 hours everyday from last Friday/ 'cept monday and today ... Ive got plans to hunt one location in the Am tomorrow, then come back to the truck, switch locations for another spot for the PM .... still havnt had a decent Doe within range, all babies so far... I was at full draw on a decent 8 pt last Saturday, but he turned on me and went to where a big Doe was 80 yds off, then we played tag... he won .... called in a small 3 pt spikey looking buck two days back... and had 3 bucks chasing a Doe last Sunday at 60 yds/ to dark to see racks, but all 3 were grunting up a storm .... saw no deer yesterday, did watch an Adult Bald Eagle swoop down and miss a fish 60 yds from me, that was cool.... My 1st vacation ends Saturday... vacation #2 starts next Fri. the 10th

Good luck to you guys Tomorrow (Fri)

From: Fulldraw1972
02-Nov-17
Good luck JTV!

My 2 week hunt starts tomorrow. I will start off in SD and hunt till the 10th then head to NW Kansas and hunt till the 19th. Kansas will be with an outfitter and SD will be on public land I have hunted for coyotes. I just happened to see some really good bucks while calling coyotes.

Good luck tomorrow Kyle and Mike!

From: Shuteye
02-Nov-17
I used to bowhunt near Morris, Illinois. My company had a chemical plant there and the plant manager let me bow hunt. I wasn't hunting bucks, just to kill deer. Never missed a day without killing deer. I couldn't believe you could hunt on Sunday because back then there was no Sunday hunting in Maryland or Delaware. When you checked in you deer they would give you a neat pin for your hat. I donated my deer to the quality control lab that would have a wild game dinner for crippled children. Never saw so many pheasants and fox squirrels as I did there. It was a no gun zone in an industrial complex. The guys at a bowshop called where I was hunting "The Zoo." You could easily see two or three hundred deer a day. It was a Reichhold Plant and there was the largest coal pile I have ever seen in my life near an electric plant. The coal came in by barge. They said where I was hunting was the last prairie land in those parts.

From: sureshot
03-Nov-17

sureshot's embedded Photo
sureshot's embedded Photo
Weather is overcast with cooler temps.....Rain moving in Saturday. I say activity will be better today. Good luck guys

03-Nov-17
Today's the day, guys. Stay focused. Good luck!!

From: Gray Ghost
03-Nov-17
Bring on the hero pics, Mike!!

Matt

From: wooddamon1
03-Nov-17
Hoping to get back from the woods Sunday and see some pics of a couple big boys, good luck today guys!

From: Shuteye
03-Nov-17
Haven't seen anything yet and it is dark. Hope they are blood trailing. Or better yet, dragging.

From: NvaGvUp
03-Nov-17
Another morning in a stand absolutely nothing seen!

I've hunted five mornings and five afternoons and saw exactly seven deer total! On fully half of my times in a stand on this hunt, I saw nothing!

From: Jim Moore
03-Nov-17
Kyle...spot and stalk. Nevada. At least you can target what you can see.

From: Mike in CT
04-Nov-17
Well guys, here's the wrap-up; sat this morning until 11am and saw 4 doe and a small 6pt by 8:15, then just a coyote at 8:45 (if I hadn't planned on hunting for another 2+ hours he would have been stapled to the ground.....)

Overall in 10 sits I saw 51 deer with 3 shooter (130" or better) bucks, just none in the 150+ range I was holding out for. No regrets at all; another great hunt and I'm starting to get a better feel for the property (the day I saw 2 shooter bucks I declined the offered stand location and opted for a stand as far back in the hardwoods as they had.)

With the lack of chasing I had the feeling the does were avoiding the bucks and would find better feeding conditions in the hardwoods than in open fields where the bucks could run them ragged. That sit I had 16 deer (3 bucks, 2 shooters) in 3 hours on stand; not a bad call.

The place is prime whitetail habitat, well-managed and they will consistently produce quality bucks. The owners, Bob & Marsha Blair as as fine a pair of people as you could hope to meet; you couldn't be better taken care of if you were home with mom & dad!

If I'm disappointed in anything it's in not being able to post a "hero picture" for you guys; the encouragement and support are much appreciated, though having gotten to know most of you over the years the level of class and camaraderie shown came as no surprise; I am humbled and it means more to me than I could possibly put into words.

When I look back on my life I'll look to the friendships forged on this site and know that for all the screw-ups I've managed to make I certainly got this right-from the bottom of my heart, thanks so much and I'll have to skip 2018 (daughter's wedding) but will be back in IL in 2019 for another go.

God bless and keep all of you and yours.

Mike

04-Nov-17
Sorry you did not get your hero shot, sir. I was hoping for a last-sit, storybook ending for you guys. Drive and travel safely. 2019 is coming.

From: Shuteye
04-Nov-17
Holy Cow Orionsbrother, I'm old so lets to 2018 first.

Mike, sounds like you had a great time and if was easy it wouldn't be any fun. The challenge is what is important. Some days you get the bear and some days.............

04-Nov-17
No "hero shot" and no mugshots either!

You guys are boring! 8^)

Glad you all had a good time!

Shuteye, family has a store in Morris! I have hunted near there!

From: Gray Ghost
04-Nov-17
Mike,

Thanks for allowing us to virtually tag along on your hunt.

Since you saw 51 deer, and Kyle only 7, you might politely suggest he stop wearing that ol' man cologne. Last year, the deer were curious about that awful smell. This year, they knew to avoid it. ;-)

Seriously though, it's refreshing to see someone who is humble and gracious in victory as well as defeat. I expected no less from you, and I wasn't disappointed. My only regret is I didn't get to hear/see your gee-tar performance. ;-)

Matt

04-Nov-17
Lex - Mike can't hunt IL in 2018 because of his daughter's wedding, thus my reference to 2019. It's kind of a Cub's thing. I'm not advocating for any Rip Van Winkle naps.

From: Mike in CT
04-Nov-17

Mike in CT's embedded Photo
Mike in CT's embedded Photo
Here's why I will skip 2018 in IL; best of all possible reasons-my daughter will be marrying this handsome young man who also happens to have the kind of character every father prays for in their daughter's beau.

Spike-I'm posting this "mug shot" as my daughter is light years better to look at than her dad.......

04-Nov-17
Mike - I'm very happy for you that your future son-in-law isn't a "project" that your daughter has chosen to take on. You've done well sir. I have some friends who have daughters that seem to have a need to take in mangy strays.

From: Fulldraw1972
04-Nov-17
Glad you guys had fun and sorry there was no glory of hero pictures.

One of the things I have always liked about a hunt(adventure) is the highs and lows along the way.

Congrats Mike on the your daughters future wedding.

Thank you guys for taking us along on your adventure. I know I was checking in regularly for updates.

From: JTV
04-Nov-17
well, I finally got fresh meat in the freezer after losing all that was in there last month ... Killed a big Doe yesterday afternoon (115lbs field dressed)... Vacations #1 ends today...whew... 27 yd shot, she didnt go far... I used a modified Vipertrick with the bleeder replaced with a 1 1/4" Grizz Trick blade, that made it a 1 1/16 x 1 1/4" COC head... wicked head ...

Vacation # 2 starts next Friday ... Buck time !!

to bad Mike and NVA didnt connect ....sounds like Mike saw quite a bit more than NVA .... NVA does better in the mountains ...lol ...

From: Gray Ghost
04-Nov-17
Congratulations, JTV!! Few things taste better than a healthy whitetail doe.

Don't be greedy with the backstrap, brother. ;-)

Matt

From: Whitey
04-Nov-17

Whitey's embedded Photo
Whitey's embedded Photo
Rut started this AM this guy was so preoccupied I was able to sneak up on him in the pasture within 10’.

From: Shuteye
04-Nov-17
Orion's Brother. now I understand.

04-Nov-17
And Lex, you aren't old. You've just acquired a patina.

From: JTV
04-Nov-17
From the beginning of the season (Oct 1st), it took a total of 12 days(hunts) and 68.25 hours in the tree's just to get her ....

From: Shuteye
04-Nov-17

Shuteye's embedded Photo
Shuteye's embedded Photo
Yesterday's picture from my kitchen window. That deer's rear legs are in the kale in my garden. She will be good for the freezer in January if I don't get one before then. Has to cool off before I go deer hunting. Since I am retired I can go every day when I decide to go. Just walk out my back door and into my woods.

From: Gray Ghost
04-Nov-17

Gray Ghost's embedded Photo
Gray Ghost's embedded Photo
What rut.....?

I took this pic while in town, yesterday. These ol' boys had nothing on their minds but staying cool in the shade. They're laying smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

Matt

From: JTV
04-Nov-17
open the window and thump 'em on the head with a hammer ... lol ...

From: Whitey
04-Nov-17

Whitey's embedded Photo
Whitey's embedded Photo
Whitey's embedded Photo
Whitey's embedded Photo
Common mulies , hardest hunt in north America is the mature blacktail. Anyone tells you different hasn't hunted them.

From: Gray Ghost
04-Nov-17
Didn't know this was a competition, Whitey. That's a fine mature blacky.

I hope Mike and Kyle enjoy seeing examples of what we're chasing in our respective 'hoods.

BTW, I know of a couple Coues deer hunters who may argue your "hardest hunt" claim. A few sheep and mountain goat hunters may chime in on that topic, as well. But that's for another thread, don't you think?

Matt

From: Whitey
04-Nov-17
I doubt it , not very many trophy blacktail guides for a reason. Plenty for the others. Never hunted coues but my taxidermist has and he didn’t think it was hard. We have sheep and goat here the hardest part is drawing the tag. Trophy class Roosevelt Elk would be second hardest hunt.

From: Shuteye
04-Nov-17
I beg to differ with you guys. Big Foot is the hardest to hunt or even get a good picture.

From: NvaGvUp
04-Nov-17
Quick update.

I hunted a stand yesterday AM and again saw nothing.

As planned, as soon as I got back to the bunkhouse I changed clothes and took off for home.

I drove 650 miles to Kearney, NE in 9:50 where I had dinner and went to bed.

Got up a little before 3:00 AM this morning and drove 1,284 miles home in 16:30 flat.

From: Gray Ghost
05-Nov-17
Whitey,

Only you seem to care what the "hardest hunt" is. And how does that discussion relate to Mike and Kyle's hunt, anyway?

Matt

From: Mike in CT
05-Nov-17
Matt,

As always I'm very interested in "the other game in town", i.e. any hunting adventure. Each of us has an inner passion (or passions) and sometimes when others discuss theirs it sparks something in me (always room on the "bucket list" lol).

I think what constitutes "hard" can be related to a number of factors, certainly the wariness of the game in question plays a role. Additionally, some hunts are just flat-out more physically demanding; high altitude hunts whether for goat, sheep, mulies or elk come immediately to mind. I think the physical demands, if one is not up for them erode the mental ability to be razor-sharp when the moment of truth comes.

I think when these passions are shared we all gain from a window into the soul, if you will, of our fellow outdoorsmen. To me it only deepens the bond already shared and when some have related whats involved (especially the physically demanding hunts) it's only deepened my respect for those individuals. I've often questioned myself and asked "could I match that level of commitment?"

So to all who have related their own personal stories/histories I thank you. All may have differing opinions but to all I offer this; find your passion in life, commit to it without reservation, offer no excuses for failure nor expect accolades for success; failure means you have risked and presents the opportunity to overcome adversity (shows, not develops character) and how we handle success defines us (in my humble opinion) in terms of our humanity.

Ultimately, we are our greatest challenge; know thyself and to thine own self be true. Know your passion and live that passion and when your journey ends it will have been a life well-lived.

God bless and keep you and yours always and thanks for being along for this ride.

Mike

From: Gray Ghost
05-Nov-17
Mike,

As usual, wise words from a wise man.

It's true, "hardest hunt" is a purely subjective matter. I recall Chuck Adams giving that distinction to the Coues deer. Since I haven't hunted every species in North America, I tend to trust the words of someone who has.

Regardless, I apologize for the side-track. I hope that "chest freezer" buck survives and gives you an easy chip shot in 2019. You deserve it, IMO.

Matt

From: Mint
06-Nov-17
Thanks for posting the hunt guys, I enjoyed reading along. The warm weather and full moon has the rut off to a slow start where I hunt on long island. I only saw a yearling doe on Saturday and the temps started in the 40's but I think the full moon did me in. I'm taking off Thursday and Friday and hopefully those days will be better. There is some nice bucks in CT Mike so you might get your 150 yet if you are real lucky.

From: Scar Finga
06-Nov-17
Thanks Gents it's always a fun ride to tag along!

God Bless!

From: NvaGvUp
06-Nov-17
We'll be going back.

It's a great piece of property with great bucks and the couple who owns it are the nicest people you could ever hope to have as your hosts.

From: Gray Ghost
06-Nov-17
Sorry, wrong thread.

From: NvaGvUp
06-Nov-17
Mike,

" Additionally, some hunts are just flat-out more physically demanding; high altitude hunts whether for goat, sheep, mulies or elk come immediately to mind. I think the physical demands, if one is not up for them erode the mental ability to be razor-sharp when the moment of truth comes."

Exactly, my friend.

Mental toughness is critical, esp. on hunts which are physically challenging.

The better your physical condition, the less likely it is you're mental toughness will lessen.

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